Monday, July 26, 2010


With the economy in a continual state of change there is no way to predict anything solid. Or so logic would dictate. This means it may be best to stop trying to think we can get a handle on the future or the financial climate and simply accept that there is no fail safe format to "live". So toss that handbook and do your own thing.

Yesterday -as I was enjoying my weekly session in the hot tub- I came across Ms Lidewij Edelkoort while reading. This lady does trend forecasting for a living. (What a groovy job that must be!) From her website:

"Li Edelkoort is one of the world's most renowned trend forecasters. Her work has pioneered trend forecasting as a profession; from the creation of innovative trend books and audiovisuals since the 1980s to long-ranging lifestyle analysis and research for the world's leading brands today.

Li announces the concepts, colours and materials which will be in fashion two or more years in advance because, "there is no creation without advance knowledge, and without design, a product cannot exist." In this way, she and her closely-knit teams orientate professionals in interpreting the evolution of society and the foreshadowing signals of consumer tastes to come, without forgetting economic reality."

I was absolutely fascinated with reading her perspective on things in the interview in the latest Australian Vogue Living magazine. Most of all it was encouraging. (To get an idea what her general views are on what's to come between 2010 and 2050 read this.)

She was talking a lot about "re-connecting"; less to do about the ego and more about people as a group, or as Seth Godin would say, a tribe. Lidewij mentions that this century will be more about connectivity and networking then anything else. Also the new media will help us to be more intuitive and instinctive she says. The future will be about "us" and not about "me". Hence the success of movies like Avatar, where the primal aspect is very tangible that also appeals to us.

Interior design wise there will be less contrived homes, glam will not be "hot", the nomadic lifestyle will be. We are more and more putting architecture in the landscape as an integrated part, something that can be hidden or that is folded into the surroundings somehow. We are more likely to single out objects or pieces that we have a connection with, then whether the sofa matches the chairs. The story remains important. And everything will be tactile. The use of our hands has already made a comeback, whether it is to craft, or to prepare food in the kitchen. 

So what does Lidewij really think about her abilities to predict the future?
“People think I am some kind of mystic. Yet all I do is pay attention.”

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